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I live in MN where school doesn't start until after Labor Day. That means stores just put out Halloween stuff last week. I feel like the amount of Halloween decorations (specifically for outdoors) has been on the decline the last couple years.

My city doesn't not have a Spirit Halloween this year. Home Depot in my area dropped Halloween altogether. Walmart is down to one asile of non-costume stuff. Target had decor, but hardly anything for outside. I stopped by Shopko last night and they have half an aisle of lights (with no other real outdoor stuff).

Both Menards and Lowe's seemed on par with other years (some cool light stuff). That being said, I still feel little Halloween buzz going around. Other than a monster blow up from Menards, I have bought zero decorations for my yard. In past years, there have always been some unique lights or something that I really wanted. Last year, I picked up several of the projector lights - lasers and StarShower stuff. I don't even see those around (there are a few new small projector lights, I guess). The current trend of animal skeletons does little for me.

What I have found, too, is that there is a ton of Christmas stuff out already. At Shopko and Menards, that has taken up space from what they used to have for Halloween.

I am kinda bummed.
 

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I am wondering if this is just area specific. I live in Southern California, in a very populated area. There are 3 Spirits within a 5 mile range of me and about 5 more in less than a 15-20 mile range. My Lowes, Home Depot, Walmart, Target, Costco, Sams club and all the other stores (multiple of each in close range) are all full of in door and out door decorations. I have not noticed any type of decline around me. I am in a busy area and I am neighboring several busy citites so maybe that has something to do with it.
 

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Seer of All
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With the exception of walmart, which does seem to have less each year, Halloween merchandise is booming in my area. Spirit stores were open in August and Lowes looks like a Halloween explosion. At the same time, our real estate market is doing very well and jobs are plentiful, from what I am told. I suppose that could explain why merchants are more confident in their ability to sell holiday merchandise this year.
 

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Jumpin' Jack Flash
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our walmart is about like it has been the last several years--3-5 aisles of halloween stuff in the seasonal section, mostly costumes with 1-2 aisles of decorations and party supplies. there is some christmas stuff out, but it's just a few things out in the outdoor section so it isn't really encroaching on the halloween area.

i haven't been to the nearest home depot (about half an hour away) but our lowe's seems to be the same as recent years.

we have a spirit in the same town as the home depot but i haven't been there yet this year. overall i'd say locally everything seems to be the same as it has been for awhile.
 

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I live in MN where school doesn't start until after Labor Day. That means stores just put out Halloween stuff last week. I feel like the amount of Halloween decorations (specifically for outdoors) has been on the decline the last couple years.

My city doesn't not have a Spirit Halloween this year. Home Depot in my area dropped Halloween altogether. Walmart is down to one asile of non-costume stuff. Target had decor, but hardly anything for outside. I stopped by Shopko last night and they have half an aisle of lights (with no other real outdoor stuff).

Both Menards and Lowe's seemed on par with other years (some cool light stuff). That being said, I still feel little Halloween buzz going around. Other than a monster blow up from Menards, I have bought zero decorations for my yard. In past years, there have always been some unique lights or something that I really wanted. Last year, I picked up several of the projector lights - lasers and StarShower stuff. I don't even see those around (there are a few new small projector lights, I guess). The current trend of animal skeletons does little for me.

What I have found, too, is that there is a ton of Christmas stuff out already. At Shopko and Menards, that has taken up space from what they used to have for Halloween.

I am kinda bummed.
Where in MN? I live in Iowa and my in-laws live in Fairmont. There is either a Halloween Express or Spirit Halloween at the Owatanna Outlet Mall. Not sure how far you are from there but it is worth a shot. I know they also have one up near Shokapee as well.
 

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With the exception of walmart, which does seem to have less each year, Halloween merchandise is booming in my area. Spirit stores were open in August and Lowes looks like a Halloween explosion. At the same time, our real estate market is doing very well and jobs are plentiful, from what I am told. I suppose that could explain why merchants are more confident in their ability to sell holiday merchandise this year.
Walmart is hit and miss. My local Walmart has one aisle of Halloween and it's shared with fall decor. But I stopped by a large Walmart a couple of days ago and they had 8 aisles of Halloween, including inflatables, three just for costumes, etc. But by the same token, Lowes, which did very well for Halloween this year, is pretty much wiped out and they are replacing Halloween with Christmas already. It isn't even October yet!
 

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Here, they took down all of the display inflatables on top of the first aisle and have replaced them with Christmas inflatables. They had one aisle that had Halloween in it and that's been cleared out and replaced with Christmas lights. All of the displays in the front of the store in front of lights have been taken down and condensed into a small area that still has Halloween decor. They had a couple of big hanging props over their Halloween display, those are now gone. It was Halloween for maybe 2 weeks, now it's going Christmas.
 

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I live 30 minutes from NYC in an area with high rates of home ownership and median household income but here are my observations:

Lowe's year over year has declined in both the quality of decorations and the selection available. This year they had one tiny make-shift section for Halloween that was mostly composed of trinkets and trash. Lowe's used to have some pretty good stand-up figures but this year all they really had were some inflatables. This is interesting to me as Lowe's target demographic has always been the DIY crowd, women, inexperienced patrons etc (not the contractor types).

While Lowe's has been on a steady decline, Home Depot has gotten better year over year: they have expanded the floor-space, selection, and quality in pretty much every category of decor. I was really impressed with the presentation and variety this year and actually thought they did a much better job than Spirit. I think Home Depot is trying to reshape their image and attract more of Lowe's target customers as evinced by the recent upgrades to the store layouts, colors, and checkout lanes in addition to a renewed focus on seasonal and outdoor lifestyle items.

The warehouse clubs are pretty much on par with prior years and have a limited selection of very high quality and affordably priced items. Nothing at Sams this year really piqued my interest (besides their boxes of king size candy) but Costco was on point with the limited selection they had (I would definitely pick up the lighted pumpkin for $30 if you haven't already, it's great).

In regards to the pop-up, party stores, I have also noticed a decline in terms of decor, quality, and selection. Party/Halloween city has exorbitantly priced items that are both chintzy and cheap and Spirit continues to decrease the floor-space for decor to emphasize costumes, makeup, and party items which are all higher-margin items. The items that Spirit does have are over-priced for exceptionally poor quality (i.e head on a stick for $80...)

In general, I think that the rising cost of labor in China and increased global and national shipping costs are why we don't see Gemmy type of decor anymore in big-box stores. When you pair these factors with changing demographics (the baby-boomers down-sizing and aging out and millenials not owning homes and waiting to have kids), the quality and availability of Halloween decor has continued to decrease. Unfortunately, it could take several years to a decade for this trend to reverse and with the myopic and tragic tariffs coming into effect, expect ALL pre-packaged decor and goods in general to go up exponentially (25% by January). Everything is about to get more expensive with no tangible benefit to haunters.....
 

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The Haunting Girl
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I honestly think a large part of the decline has to do with the dates Halloween has been falling on. When it falls on a Friday, Saturday, or Sunday we tend to see more decorations and stuff, because they expect people will actually buy more due to the holiday falling on a weekend giving them more reason to go all out in their celebrations. This year Halloween falls on a Wednesday... Which is right in the middle of the work/school week. People will be less inclined to decorate or hold big parties because of the awkward placement of the holiday.

Of course everything else people have mentioned is also true, but I think the day of the week plays a big part too. I guess we'll find out in 2020?
 

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I live 30 minutes from NYC in an area with high rates of home ownership and median household income but here are my observations:

Lowe's year over year has declined in both the quality of decorations and the selection available. This year they had one tiny make-shift section for Halloween that was mostly composed of trinkets and trash. Lowe's used to have some pretty good stand-up figures but this year all they really had were some inflatables. This is interesting to me as Lowe's target demographic has always been the DIY crowd, women, inexperienced patrons etc (not the contractor types).

While Lowe's has been on a steady decline, Home Depot has gotten better year over year: they have expanded the floor-space, selection, and quality in pretty much every category of decor. I was really impressed with the presentation and variety this year and actually thought they did a much better job than Spirit. I think Home Depot is trying to reshape their image and attract more of Lowe's target customers as evinced by the recent upgrades to the store layouts, colors, and checkout lanes in addition to a renewed focus on seasonal and outdoor lifestyle items.

The warehouse clubs are pretty much on par with prior years and have a limited selection of very high quality and affordably priced items. Nothing at Sams this year really piqued my interest (besides their boxes of king size candy) but Costco was on point with the limited selection they had (I would definitely pick up the lighted pumpkin for $30 if you haven't already, it's great).

In regards to the pop-up, party stores, I have also noticed a decline in terms of decor, quality, and selection. Party/Halloween city has exorbitantly priced items that are both chintzy and cheap and Spirit continues to decrease the floor-space for decor to emphasize costumes, makeup, and party items which are all higher-margin items. The items that Spirit does have are over-priced for exceptionally poor quality (i.e head on a stick for $80...)

In general, I think that the rising cost of labor in China and increased global and national shipping costs are why we don't see Gemmy type of decor anymore in big-box stores. When you pair these factors with changing demographics (the baby-boomers down-sizing and aging out and millenials not owning homes and waiting to have kids), the quality and availability of Halloween decor has continued to decrease. Unfortunately, it could take several years to a decade for this trend to reverse and with the myopic and tragic tariffs coming into effect, expect ALL pre-packaged decor and goods in general to go up exponentially (25% by January). Everything is about to get more expensive with no tangible benefit to haunters.....

If the "myopic and tragic tariffs" cause stores to stop carrying all the poorly made crap from China, all the better.
 

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In regards to the pop-up, party stores, I have also noticed a decline in terms of decor, quality, and selection. Party/Halloween city has exorbitantly priced items that are both chintzy and cheap and Spirit continues to decrease the floor-space for decor to emphasize costumes, makeup, and party items which are all higher-margin items. The items that Spirit does have are over-priced for exceptionally poor quality (i.e head on a stick for $80...)
I will agree with you on the prices at Spirit. I walked in there and their pose-and-stay skeletons, which aren't anything all that great to begin with, are going for $80. Home Depot has them for $30. I don't buy props anyhow, but that alone would make me just walk out.
 

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Hullo fellow Midwesterner! When I lived in a small town, they didn't have much of anything either. If you try a bigger city, perhaps they might have more variety of Halloween decor! Otherwise, online browsing/ordering is your next best bet.
Also, I find it interesting that everyone has made the switch to inflatables instead of the more sturdy blowmolds, but inflatables don't always like the wind and snow that this area ultimately brings. :/

But, yeah, how crazy is it that they have Christmas overtaking everything even before October?!
 

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In northern California, I have been underwhelmed with the store offerings this year. We have several spirit stores, Home Depot, Target, and Party Citys in the area, but their selections have been better in the past. Michael's selection is a little better than the other stores.
 
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